Wins 6 out of 6
Helalia Johannes has consistently been the track star favourite for Namibia and she has proven that she is worth it with another exceptional performance, winning the Johannesburg leg of the Spar Women’s 10km Challenge at Marks Park Sports Club in a record time of 33,16 minutes on Sunday.
Her sixth consecutive record-breaking win in the Grand Prix series came just after she bagged a bronze medal in the women’s marathon at the World Athletics Championships in Doha.
“When we were going to Doha, they did not give us national colours, they did not give us any financial support and they did not even give us a send-off or anything, while I am out there writing a history for myself and for the country.
I am writing a history,” Johannes said, speaking to The Patriot Sports yesterday.
Comrades Marathon contestant Gerda Steyn was second in time 34,28 and last year’s Jo’burg winner Irvette can Zyl finished third in 34,40 in what was a top three clean sweep by runners representing Nedbank.
Just like in previous Women’s Challenge races this season‚ Johannes started off fast and led from start to finish.
After the race‚ Johannes said it was difficult to recover from the World Championships in Doha and still win in Johannesburg.
“I prepared very well for the marathon and I think that I was able to do well here because I really am super-fit.
I am very happy to have won again‚” she said.
“She earned the maximum points in each race‚ earning bonus points every time and taking the other runners with her. No-one has been this dominant in the Grand Prix before‚” said Ian Laxton, the Grand Prix co-ordinator.
“I am still very excited,” Johannes said.
“I don’t know when I will stop celebrating this thing.
I am very proud of myself, it is an amazing thing that I have done. Every race that I have run, the last six, I set a new record.
It has never been done before. In the whole SADC region, no single country has even won a single medal.”
Johannes had an inspiringly good run in the Nagoya Marathon, smashing her previous record in the 42.2km by seven minutes, clocking at 2:22 in the Japan race in March.
Deputy Prime Minister, Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwa on Tuesday issued a statement regarding Johannes which reads, “you know that hard work and dedication have a destination, which is success.
Your dedication, enthusiasm and insight are really inspiring. Best of luck with your future and congratulations for your achievements. Keep going.”
“It is a big history and I am proud of myself. Whether the people can see it or they can continue to not help, I will say; no-one will put me down. I am still going forward, because I can see that I can even make it without any help.
Nothing can put me down. I am still on my track, I am still concentrating towards my plan, towards my dream, to achieve my dream,” she concluded.